This post, by an anonymous blogger, had me pondering. She has a restrictive comment policy, and my musings probably falls way outside of what she deems acceptable speech. I don't know if it's important, but I spotted the post as a headline on T-Central, under Suzan Cooke's Women Born Transsexual blog listing. The nutshell version is that a certain young (I assume) lass went with her girlfriend to a dyke march. And got into an altercation with the obnoxious Radical Feminist Cathy Brennan and some of her dismal acolytes. Ms Brennan was, apparently, carrying a sign that quoted the equally obnoxious Sheila Jeffries and was picking on some young transwoman because, well, that's all they can do in the face of people living as they want to.
To get some of the nitpicking out of the way, anonymous bloggers don't influence people. People influence people. Unsigned missives may have helped start a revolution, but that was a couple of centuries ago and in general, people dismiss anonymous commentary. Especially on the internet where it's rife and far too common for anyone to take it seriously. (BTW, banning their IP addresses? It doesn't matter to them. And it's not a very reliable way of barring them, anyway.)
Second, the idea of going to a dyke march and expecting it to be a welcoming atmosphere for trans-folk of any description* - no matter what the organizers say - is a tad optimistic. Such gatherings are catnip to people like the odious Cathy Brennan.
*With the possible exception of some female-to-male transsexual & transgender individuals.
Thirdly, saying "I have previously taken a very olive-branch-y stance towards radscum" isn't very olive-branchy. And yes, people are generally good and you should believe in the goodness of folk. There's plenty of good folk out there. Don't let the pricks destroy your faith in humanity - they have none, and want you to have none because they're just miserable sods and don't know any better.
Fourth - if someone "violated your personal space", it's time to call in the cops. Things have gone too far and it's impossible to predict how things turn out. If no cops are around, the wisest course of action is to run away - they'll craw like the witches they are, but you know you're safer. And you can always lodge a police complaint shortly afterwards; it might not come to much, but it puts the twits on warning. Always remember: safety first. Having a good time could become difficult if someone decides to "man up", which is always more than possible with some
Anyway, it seems that Ms Brennan went out of her way to be obnoxious - she doesn't have far to go, that's a fact! - and this lass went to rescue another transdamsel. Which was a decent and honorable thing to do and Ms Anonymous should be applauded for doing that. I think that where it gets tricky is in the lessons learned. :-) <-Hopefully disarming smile.
People like Cathy Brennan aren't about equality or having a good time. They're angry, for whatever reason, and miserable. They carry signs with quotes from other miseries like Sheila Jeffries because they want to incite an argument. They're being provocative for a reason; mostly it's that they're miserable and want everyone else to be as well. At its root, this sort of person is more about their own smug superiority. I can think of a few transsexual women who are smugly superior, so it's not something that's reserved especially for Radical Feminists. Rad T-Fems, Transsexual Separatists, some transsexual women bloggers, are similarly, all over their own smug superiority.
Some folk just are arrogant. They assume a haughty superiority, denouncing any and all who aren't as them as they enjoy the dismal fame their ideas bring. It's just who they are; they aspire to nothing more and will achieve even less. Getting angry at such folk raises your blood pressure and delights them; berating them for not being accepting is a fruitless quest. I know this because I've run into some of the transsexual women bloggers who have joined that dreach sisterhood.
Learn from the experience. Such folk aren't about fighting misogyny; they're about perpetrating, continuing and ratcheting it up. It gives them something to do. And never let them get under your skin - it's what they want. They need you to be as miserable as they are. Miseries, the lot.